It's been fun to see and learn about the Christmas traditions of another country that is at least as Christmas-crazy as the US. Some things that seem particularly appealing in Norway include the tradition of putting candles outside the door or in the window of nearly every shop and house; the traditional foods on every menu (even if it's a pizza place or a Chinese restaurant, they'll have a traditional Norwegian Christmas menu with salted sheep ribs along with their regular menu); and of course, my favorite, the seven different types of Christmas cookies the mother of the house bakes during Christmastime. Cafe Lotte in old Kongsberg makes many varieties of cookies and gave me the recipe for my favorites - Brune Pinner, a crispy, chewy, brown sugar cookie that is delicious with coffee. God Jul!
300 grams butter (softened)
300 grams sugar
2 yolks of eggs
1.5 tablespoons syrup (dark corn syrup?)
3 teaspoons baking soda
1.5 teaspoons vanilla
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
375 grams flour
Plus, egg whites for brushing the tops, and chopped almonds for sprinkling
Mix together soft butter and sugar. Add egg yolks and syrup. Beat well. Add baking soda, vanilla, cinnamon, and flour. Mix well. (Chill, perhaps?) Roll thin, perhaps 1 centimeter. Cut into strips 2.5 centimeters wide and 4 centimeters long - they will spread in the oven. After baking a few minutes, brush the tops with egg whites and sprinkle with almonds. Bake at 200C (aka 392º) for about 10 minutes - until lightly browned around the edges. Watch them carefully.